Last updated: August 29. 2014 6:13PM - 265 Views

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gerhig’s disease, is a horrible illness.

It’s a progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons from ALS eventually leads to death.

Sadly, having Lou Gerhig’s disease is a death sentence. For those who have witnessed it up close, they will tell you it is a slow, painful death. People eventually lose the ability to move.

While there is no cure, people from all over the country have come together to raise awareness of the disease in hopes of trying to discover its cause and cure.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has spread like wildfire across the United States through social media. Donations to the ALS Association have exploded: $53.4 million so far, compared to $2.2 million during the same time period — July 29 to Aug 21 — last year.

The challenge has hit Bowling Green. Various people and businesses in town have been challenged to participate or have participated.

The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same. People can accept the challenge within 24 hours, donate to ALS research or both.

Whether one participates in the challenge or just donates money to fight the disease, either is a great way to show support for this cause.

Those who participate in the challenge look like they are having a good time. It’s a cold jolt, but meeting the challenge is worthwhile.

People all around town are challenging friends and colleagues. One Daily News reporter, Chuck Mason, participated in the challenge. Local politicians and other citizens around our community also have been challenged; some have accepted the challenge, while others have donated money.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a major tool in the battle against Lou Gehrig’s Disease. We are glad people in Bowling Green, surrounding areas and from all over the country are participating in these challenges. Through their selfless actions, perhaps one day we will know what causes this horrible disease and find its cure.

— The Daily News, Bowling Green

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